“Ethan Beard, an early Android development executive told the author that “We knew that Apple was going to announce a phone. Everyone knew that. We just didn’t think it would be that good.” An unnamed Android engineer even went as far as to say their work on Android looked awful when compared to the iPhone: “What we had looked so … nineties.””
“What would the Android Gruber write about? There are of course Android writers out there, but they mostly cover the latest greatest phone or compare feature sets. They never really put things into context with the overall philosophy of the platform like Gruber does with Apple, because there is no overall philosophy.”
— Linus Edwards on why the Android ecosystem lacks an astute observer and commentator like John Gruber.
“In terms of install base, a computing category that did not exist six years ago has come to overtake one that has been around for 38 years.”

Horace Dediu on Intel and the decline of PC sales.

Read More: The PC Calamity

“Google knew what it was doing when it made and marketed Android as an “open” system. It surely anticipated forks by handset makers as a manageable risk as long as Google kept advancing the system. But I wonder if it expected something like Facebook Home: an inside-out heist, made by a company after the same exact user data and advertisers Google is after.”
— Matt Drance
“A phone using Google AND Facebook technology? A privacy dream come true!”

Kontra responds to Facebook To Reveal “Home On Android” Sources Say Is A Modified OS On HTC At 4/4 Event story:

Google supposedly built the “OPEN” Android ecosystem to counter iOS’ rise and now they’ve given rise to a monster that threatens to bite the hand that is feeding it. Do i feel sorry for Google? Hell, No. 

P.S. Some of Google’s apps on iOS are massively popular and they are prolific revenue generators for the company. Isn’t that a bit ironic? 

“A year ago this month, Schmidt dropped two whoppers on us, saying that developers would ship first for Android and that most televisions would include Google TV by mid-2012. Much like the Mayan apocalypse, we’re still waiting for those to come to fruition.”
The Macalope
“The only ones associated with Android who make any real money is Samsung and, ironically, Microsoft.”
— Prasad Naik (a.k.a. Krazyfrog) nails it.

Google to Acer: Open isn’t really Open.

Jon Brodkin of Ars Technica on Why Google arm-twisted Acer:

In a statement sent to Ars tonight, Google said that Acer signed away its rights to make Android-like phones not blessed by Google when it joined the Open Handset Alliance, a consortium designed to promote Android and create “greater openness in the mobile ecosystem.” 

And MG Siegler Calls spade a spade:

Google is giving a whole new meaning to the word “Open”. 


Further Reading: 

Google just dropped an Android-shaped bomb in China [Updated]

What Is The One True Android & How “Open” Is It?

“Androiders are also the ones that are constantly yelling that the patent system is broken because Apple is allowed to patent everything under the sun. Really now – then why is it that Samsung was the number two patent filer in the world in 2011 while Apple ranked thirty-ninth? Isn’t Samsung trying to protect their ideas like Apple is? Of course they are and that’s why I call the core die-hard Android fans the Tea Partiers of the tech industry. Facts just don’t seem to matter. It’s really all about senseless anger and wacky arguments: The louder, the better!”
— Jack Purcher of Patently Apple Nails it!

Here’s Why Samsung Should be Scared About Google’s Hardware Plans

Horace Dediu

Also noteworthy is that almost all the value from the Android ecosystem is concentrated in Samsung. I did not include Google in this analysis since its mobile is so small as to be not visible in its accounting. A separate analysis of Android economics shows that Google’s benefit from the platform is modest. In contrast, Samsung, and Samsung alone, is benefitting greatly. It could even be said that today Samsung is the only Android profit engine.

Samsung has the most to lose when Google decides to ditch the modular approach. It is not a matter of if Google plans to do hardware, it is just a question of when. That is one thing that would keep me awake at night if i was Samsung’s CEO. Samsung’s biggest worry is Google itself. 

Android fanboys will disagree with me but Google hasn’t shied away from making bold moves in the hardware space. Take Nexus 7 for example, It is basically sold at cost and it has essentially killed all the other Android tablets on the market. 

The Wall Street Journal chronicles Apple’s souring relationship with Google and how Apple plans to oust Google Maps from the iPhone. 

Apple has been hatching the plan to evict Google Maps from the iPhone for years, according to current and former Apple employees. The plan accelerated as smartphones powered by Google’s Android software overtook the iPhone in shipments.

I’m really wary of Apple forging a close relationship with a company like Facebook. Apple has been royally betrayed by a Partner (Google) in the past and Facebook is more than capable of pulling a fast one on Apple.

iPhone is the only phone on the market that has admirably withstood the attack of the Android army. I believe Google’s sole aim when they released Android 1.0 in Sep, 2008 was to destroy the iPhone. I’m really happy to see Apple’s recent moves to reduce their dependence on an unreliable partner like Google. We will see where Apple is heading after next week’s WWDC (June 11-15, 2012). 

Contrasting Mobile Revenue Models of Apple And Google

Astute Horace Dediu puts things in perspective:

See Also:

Android economics: An introduction

The Android Income Statement

Android Revenues in Perspective

Android’s contribution to Google

Calculating Google’s contribution to iPhone profitability

Steven Troughton-Smith has written a fantastic post on an early Android phone from 2007. Here are some of my highlights:

When Google first showed off Android, they showed it running on a device very similar to Blackberries or Nokia E-class devices of the time. This device was the Google Sooner - an OMAP850 device built by HTC, with no touchscreen or WiFi. This was the Android reference device, the device they originally built the OS on.

In short, the phone was a Blackberry rip-off. 


I thought it would be interesting to take you on a brief tour of the OS. The build of Android this is running was built on May 15th 2007 - four months after the iPhone was announced; the first M3 version of Android was announced in November 2007, and Android 1.0 didn’t come ‘till a year later.

The Google Sooner, aka the HTC EXCA 300, runs on an OMAP850 with 64MB RAM, and comes in two colors: black, and white. It has a 320x240 LCD screen (non touch) and a 1.3 megapixel camera sensor on the back, which supports video recording. Its curvy profile is surprisingly light and has a certain quality to it. It has a full QWERTY keyboard, a four-way d-pad, four system buttons (menu, back, home, and favourites) and call/end call buttons. Inside is a 2G radio, which is capable of EDGE speeds, but no WiFi or 3G. It has a mini-SD slot (not micro-SD), and a mini-USB port.


It was an OS designed to search Google from the very start.

He wraps up his post by saying:

It’s quite clear that Android was being designed to a completely different target before the iPhone was released.What we see here would have fitted in perfectly with the world of Symbian and BlackBerry. This early build of Android is in fact even less capable and mature than the 2004 release of Symbian Series 90 (Hildon), the OS that runs on the Nokia 7700 and 7710 - Nokia’s first, and only, pre-iPhone touchscreen smartphones. It’s not hard to see that iPhone really changed the thinking across the entire industry, and caused everybody to start from scratch. Android, webOS, Windows Phone 7, Windows 8, BlackBerry 10 - all of these exist because of the iPhone, and standing on its shoulders they have made some amazing and unique contributions to the ecosystem.

As I mentioned in my Úll talk last week, the moment we saw the iPhone for the first time it was so clear that everything beyond this point would be completely different - it wasn’t just about smartphones, it was about the future of computing. We live in a world that would have seemed distantly futuristic only 5 years ago, thanks to all these OSes. It’s amazing how far we’ve come in such a short time, and I can’t wait to see what comes next.

Google was following a red-ocean strategy before Apple wowed the world with the iPhone by following a blue-ocean strategy. Love it or hate it but the fact of the matter is the iPhone was a rising tide that lifted all boats.